CLEMSON, S.C. — All-American Christian Wilkins tossed doughnuts and confirmed off a victory cigar.
On a cold, overcast morning, Clemson celebrated its second nationwide soccer title in three seasons Saturday earlier than 1000’s of roaring followers. Spectators stood seven or eight deep alongside the parade route.
Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns within the title recreation in opposition to Alabama, rode a flatbed truck with dozens of teammates.
The parade ended exterior the stadium the place the gamers line as much as run down the hill earlier than video games.
Coach Dabo Swinney accepted the Cotton Bowl trophy and the nationwide championship prize in a principally full stadium.
Wilkins, Clemson’s coronary heart and soul this season, rode with a field of doughnuts, throwing some to the group alongside the way in which. He and fellow All-American defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell have been caught on the stadium video board taking victory cigars from wrappers and placing the unlit stogies to their mouths as they broke out in conspiratorial laughter.
Wilkins had a tearful outburst on nationwide TV after the 44-16 rout of Alabama on Monday night time in Santa Clara, California. He wished to clear the air on that one.
“I am not sorry I cried,” he mentioned. “I am sorry I am such an unpleasant crier.”
The Tigers turned the primary main college to complete 15-Zero since Penn in 1897, with its Faculty Soccer Playoff recreation wins over Notre Dame (30-Three within the Cotton Bowl) and Alabama. The feat had Swinney and several other of his gamers touting Clemson as the perfect staff in school soccer historical past.
“I really feel prefer it’s probably not up for debate,” Ferrell mentioned.
Swinney echoed these sentiments, proclaiming his newest group “the perfect ever. Drop the mic.”
He lauded his gamers for his or her diligence in having the very best grade-point common in staff historical past and for his or her fortitude in coping with the loss of life of former teammate C.J. Fuller to blood clots this previous October.
“These trophies don’t outline us,” he mentioned. “Our tradition defines us.”
To loud cheers, Swinney and the gamers got here out at halftime of Clemson’s basketball recreation with No. four Virginia.
The group will collect once more for a White Home go to Monday. “What a recreation, what a coach, what a staff!” President Donald Trump tweeted.
The Tigers could have some inquiries to reply earlier than persevering with their run. Ferrell was amongst 4 beginning defensive underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft after the Tigers returned from California.
Deal with Dexter Lawrence, together with linebacker Tre Lamar and championship defensive MVP cornerback Trayvon Mullen, additionally selected to surrender their eligibility to show professional. Barring any late NFL declarations, Clemson should change at the least seven starters on protection, together with their whole entrance 4, as Wilkins and defensive finish Austin Bryant are seniors.
“I will not be lacking the championships we gained,” Ferrell mentioned. “I will miss the individuals we gained them with.”
There have been greater than 15,000 individuals within the middle of city Monday night time to look at a number of massive screens with the sport. Followers have been on the airport Wednesday and again on campus to greet the staff.
“Now we have a few of the finest followers on the earth,” defensive sort out Albert Huggins mentioned. “They’re at all times there to help us.”
Followers within the stadium cheered the replay of the championship recreation and roared as a retrospective of Swinney’s 10 landmark years in cost flashed by.
“We have gained two championships in three years,” receiver Hunter Renfrow mentioned. “Let’s make it three within the final 4.”